A journey-based adventure for 9th-level characters
Magical soul gems have been stolen from the secret vault of the goddess of death and scattered across the planes. Some want these gems to unlock the secrets of the multiverse. Others want them for personal power. Still others want them to resurrect a fallen deity. As the god of oblivion looms near, can the PCs retrieve the gems from their new owners in time to save their world?
Beyond the Vault of Souls is a planar adventure for 9th-level characters, compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world's oldest roleplaying game. Within you'll visit the Eternal City of Axis, brave the dangers of the Abyss, and match wits with the torturer daemons of Abaddon.
Pathfinder Modules are 32-page, high-quality, full-color, OGL-compatible adventures for use with the 3.5 Edition of the world's most popular fantasy RPG. All Pathfinder Modules include four pre-made characters so players can jump right into the action, and full-color maps to enhance play.
There are a lot of big, neat concepts here; it may be worth buying as an idea source. Some good description, too. But it reads more like an outline than a worked-out adventure. This is especially problematic in part I where I almost have the impression that the PCs are supposed to sit on their hands rather than attempting to complete their mission.
The only part that is really worked out is the large multi-faction battle at the end, which would be excruciatingly difficult to run; and even here, if you approach it as a political problem, there's not enough material on the factions. (If you approach it as a fight, frankly, it's probably best for the PCs if they nuke all three factions indiscriminately, at which point the complex situation hardly matters.)
The module also indulges itself in a lot of heavy-handed NPC pushing of the PCs. It is not really a good idea to say "This NPC is too powerful for the PCs to fight, therefore they won't even try, therefore no stats are needed." Players don't tend to like this, and sometimes the hapless GM *will* need some stats. While you could argue that the PCs should be more careful, frankly if I were a careful PC I would refuse this assignment, as it seems well above the pay grade of the 9th-10th level PCs it is supposed to be for. So the PCs must be bold enough to do this, but lose that boldness at key moments--a difficult line to walk for both players and GMs.
I'm not entirely sorry I bought it, but I can't run it. Parts II and III might work tucked into some other adventure, if I ever need a short scenario set on those planes.
The two big planar trips are quite similar and the cool new planar stuff the players get to mess with only makes the "boss" stronger. Not fun! Also the final battle is a nightmare to run. Finally there are a lot of monsters you will need to sub out unless you have Tome of Horrors as the stat blocks are not complete, giving only HP, CR and a page reference.
There is a lot of nice ideas to expand the scope of the adventure though - kudos for this!
Amazing adventure. 32-pages of 3-4 session gaming. Planescape author with just as much psycodellic planar stuff as you remember from the good old days. A little effort on the DM side to make it run smoothly. Oh, for sake, just grab it.
Paizo! We want more planar stuff!!! Keep em coming!
Written by one of the authors of the Planescape setting line, this module is the first planar adventure in the Paizo lineup.
"Beyond the Vault of Souls" features everything that made Planescape unique and vibrant, with dimensional travel, dead gods, daemons, demons, philosophy and strange answers to weird questions.
It's not a dungeon crawl and it's not an urban intrigue. There's a strong feel of other-worldiness and mystery. The are no philosophy clubs here, only philosophers with clubs. No Modrons sadly, curse you Sorcerers at the Bay !
All in all, if you are a Planescape fan and/or you are looking for an unique adventure, this one is a keeper. Not up everyone's alley, but certainly up mine. Excuse me, there is a keketar protean in my garden and he sings his song of ten thousands poisons. Ohhh yes, Planescape is back.
SERIOUS NOTE (really): This module pretty much expects the DM to have access to Paizo's The Great Beyond and Necromancer Games' Tome of Horrors Revised. Which is okay, as both books are all kinds of awesome.